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Yohji Yamamoto Started Y-3 Because He was Bored with High Fashion

The master of style recounts behind his storied adidas collaboration.

by Adrian Nuñez

Long before adidas boasted a list of prolific collaborators like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott and others there was Yohji Yamamoto. Thirteen years ago the legendary designer found himself utterly bored with producing fancy clothing, and reached out to adidas in order to collaborate on what would become Y-3.

His high end take on street style and athletic apparel was ironic considering that he is a heavy smoker, but the result has been one of the most avant-garde and progressive diffusion lines in history. Recently, Yamamoto sat down with Dazed for a short doc, titled Master of Shadows. The documentary tells the full story behind Yamamoto’s decision to link up with adidas and some of what he has in store for the future. The 73-year old designer shows no signs of slowing down in his old age.

Check out the documentary.


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Adrian Nuñez is a writer from New Jersey who has contributed work on the topics of music, fashion, and general dope shit for publications like Mass Appeal, Esquire, and Sole Collector.



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